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By: Cweaver, Christopher S. Weaver
Dec 02 2013 12:10pm
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 Hey there folks! Back again with more of what you want to see: Pauper. Back with more of what I want to see: Pestilence. And general MBC shenanigans, of course. 

I chose to highlight this deck this week in anticipation of the returned Daily Events. MBC was a big contender before Daily Events went away and held strong during these Dark Ages of 8-mans. Controversy has previously erupted on the topic of which variation of MBC to run: The version more geared to beating creatures, or the version running Corrupt and good old Gray Merchant himself. The lists are quite different. 

Mono Black Control
by sneakattackkid
3 Cuombajj Witches
4 Chittering Rats
4 Crypt Rats
4 Phyrexian Rager
3 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
18 cards

Other Spells
3 Dead Weight
2 Duress
3 Unearth
1 Devour Flesh
4 Geth's Verdict
4 Sign in Blood
2 Victim of Night
19 cards
4 Barren Moor
2 Polluted Mire
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
16 Swamp
23 cards

Chittering Rats



(Not pictured: 3 Gray Merchant of Asphodel in the sideboard)

Mono Black Control
by enotar
4 Cuombajj Witches
4 Chittering Rats
2 Crypt Rats
4 Phyrexian Rager
14 cards

Other Spells
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
3 Dead Weight
2 Unearth
2 Oubliette
2 Corrupt
3 Geth's Verdict
4 Sign in Blood
3 Victim of Night
19 cards
3 Barren Moor
20 Swamp
23 cards



The main difference in these decks is how they aim to finish the game. Sneakattackkid's deck plays more like a tempo-deck, ultimately locking opponents out of the game via extra card draw from Sign in Blood and Phyrexian Rager backed up by the please-don't-have-a-Ninja feeling of dread that accompanies Okiba-Gang Shinobi.

Enotar's version, however, wants to get some early beats in and control the board long enough to start chaining Gray Merchants and end the game in several large chunks of opponents' life totals. Both versions have had success in the time since the bannings, but players seem to favor the Merchants in these lists. 

I'm torn on the subject, so I decided to go with a mix of both routes. I've seen Pestilence show up in a few lists, probably as a budget replacement for Crypt Rats, but it does devote to Gary a bit more so it's not necessarily only for budget reasons. I tweaked the list a bit and came up with this list:

My list is set. I try to enter an 8-man, but it never fires. I decide instead to hop in a 2-man, and encounter a different take on hexproof:

Hexproof should be a pretty good matchup for MBC. Not a surefire win, but hexproof will have problems with these decks, especially since I'm packing Pestilence. I enter another 2-man and come up against one of the more interesting mirror matches in Pauper:

MBC Mirrors can end up in either player's favor assuming competent pilots on either end. No big deal. What happens if we encounter Black's favorite tribe though?

Close and intense games against Zombies. Resilient value zombies decks feel like they're teetering on the edge of actually being playable. Last 2-man of the day and I get a treat: a brew from a regular Daily Event player.


MBC is my style of deck. I like playing interactive, thought provoking decks that rely on proper manipulation of the stack to win. Regardless of which version of MBC you decide to play, it's not easy. It requires a lot of practice and hopes of dodging the combo lists that still seem to pop up in the queues and Daily Events. Regardless, I think MBC will be viable for a good long while now. 

Until next week, this is Chris. Enjoy activating Pestilence 12 times for lethal!